Spend some time without technology
The iPhone 5 has brought technology to a whole new level with its even smaller design and faster performance. These improvements are estimated to help sell millions in just one weekend. But what does it say about our society to willingly and desperately wait in incredible lines for days just to be the first to own this phone?
I believe this is a result of one of two things; that people are completely addicted to technology, or that people are overly obsessed with being first. Either way, that doesn't speak well about our culture.
For those completely addicted to technology, trying peeling your face away from your devices for a day and enjoy the entertainment around you.
For those overly obsessed with being first, apply that attitude with a 5k race. Get off your phone and burn some calories.
Although our world today wouldn't be able to function without the wonderful help of technology, I believe that people are taking advantage of it. Technology has improved many fields and other important foundations. However, what has it done with your face-to-face social interactions, relationships and ability to focus on one thing for more than a moment? Food for thought for those anxiously waiting in line for a phone.
Military impostors know who they are
I read the Free Press editorial Sept. 24 concerning the "Stolen Valor Act," which was passed in 2006. What a tragic series of events! This act made it a crime to lie about receiving military medals, which it ought to be.
Then the law was repealed because it violated the First Amendment, i.e., free speech.
When I go to Brainerd Army Store to buy a Silver Star or Bronze Star or to purchase a Distinguished Flying Cross, I always have my DV214 in my wallet. It seems now (like the editorial pointed out) anyone can buy anything. What a tragedy of justice!
You impostors know who you are, and we heroes know who we are. Like Larry Taylor (of Signal Mountain who won the Silver Star for his bravery in rescuing a team of LRRPS with his Cobra; like Eddie Darr (Signal Mountain) who was a forward observer who spent countless hours in the jungle by himself; like Naman Crowe, who was a crew chief, shot down time and time again; and finally like myself, a chief warrant officer whose fire team led the invasion of Laos in 1971. Our gunships were all lost during 62 days of mortal hell.
FREDDY FEW, LaFayette, Ga.
Misused funding could aid library
Many of us in the Rossville and surrounding area are very upset at the thought that our library may have to shut down. It appears that there is just not room in the city budget, nor in other ways the library had income, to support it.
I don't understand how this can happen when there is now a new entrance to the last block of Happy Valley Road off Highway 193 that would do justice to the White House. This grand entrance, with road widening, etc., was simply not necessary. There needed to be a new bridge over Chattanooga Creek so that it would be safe for school buses, but it could have been a lot simpler and less expensive.
I realize that funds for this new entrance to a block-long space do not come from the Rossville city budget but it all comes back to the pocketbook of the great middle-class taxpayer.
We want our library!
LUCY RAULSTON, Rossville
Incorrect headlines tarnish reporting
I praise Joy Lukachick for her excellent article (Sept. 24) on incarceration of indigent parents for child support debt featuring the efforts of my organization, the Southern Center for Human Rights, to stop practices that lead to modern-day debtors' prisons. She did a commendable job researching and presenting a nuanced topic that's raising the eyebrows of courts here in Georgia, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.
However, I'm concerned about the accuracy of the headline accompanying the article and a corresponding poll, "Southern Center for Human Rights argues against jailing deadbeat parents," which was later changed to "Groups challenge process of jailing deadbeat parents."
Neither headline is accurate. Our organization never argued against jailing "deadbeat" parents. Georgia law provides that people who willfully fail to pay child support obligations may be jailed, and the Southern Center for Human Rights doesn't challenge that practice. We agree parents must support their children. People who can pay must absolutely pay.
A firm commitment to responsible journalism can only lead to an enhanced appreciation by readers of stellar reporting like that exhibited by Ms. Lukachick. I urge the Times Free Press to avoid giving inaccurate statements such prominence.
SARA TOTONCHI, Executive Director, Law Offices of the Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta, Ga.
McGary made himself look bad
Regarding the article (Sept. 27), "Andrae McGary predicts dirty campaign by opponent," I didn't like the slams McGary put on his opponent, Todd Gardenhire. He was trying to make him look bad, but really made himself look even worse in the process. I suppose that is what comes with politics, but McGary should have had a stronger argument of why his opponent wasn't qualified. I'd be curious to hear what Gardenhire has to say about his opponent.
RACHEL duBOIS, Collegedale
Many immigrants just want safety
Re: the letter "Time to take care of our citizens" (Sept. 25): Immigrants' reasons for coming to America? Look at Middle Easterners who long for freedom from tyrannical oppression and/or "religious" violence. Read statistics of innocent Mexicans murdered by vicious drug cartels. Scores of Mexico's soldiers, police and government workers kowtowed to these vicious killers. How do they "support and work for a better country and (make) a plan to move forward" under these conditions?
The day that questioning letter appeared, Mexico's Marines detained 35 Veracruz state police officers who were allegedly working for the Zetas drug cartel. Were they trying to protect themselves and citizens they serve, or were they paid outlandish sums by cartels to cooperate instead of being murdered?
Having lived and taught college in East Tennessee and Florida for 20 years, I learned the proud people who leave violent homelands for America with nothing will do anything to live in peace. The foreign students I knew got no "hand-outs" from local, state or federal agencies. They sought out their own kind and shared limited living space; some picked fruit or tobacco, cleaned motel rooms, cooked fast food, all at minimum wage in a country that offered safety for them to simply stay alive.
Heiskell taking Walker forward
Commissioner Heiskell has proven through the years her integrity and her leadership abilities. She is leading our county at a time when we need to expand our industrial base.
To have an option on the only 400-acre tract along our only corridor (Highway 27) to prepare for any industry that may want to locate here, without spending our local tax money, demonstrates leadership. If the leaders of LaFayette had not had the foresight to do the same, we would not have Roper and other industries today.
She has also shown leadership in restoring and capitalizing on our natural beauty and our Cherokee and Civil War history. Without her, we wouldn't have the Marsh House in LaFayette, the Mountain Cove property and many other improvements related to tourism and preservation.
She has accomplished this with the second lowest tax rate in Georgia. What more could be asked of a commissioner but to do what we elected her to do! She is thinking about Walker county's future generations and not just the present. Vote for someone who will continue to take Walker county forward — not backward.
ROY E. PARRISH JR., Chickamauga, Ga.